Monday, August 27, 2007

My birthday star

Tell the Birthday Stars computer when you were born, and it will look for a star that is your age in light years away from Earth. This means that the light we're seeing from that star today actually left the star around when you were born, and has taken your entire life to reach Earth.

My birthday star is in the constellation Ophiuchus. It is called 12 Ophiuchi in the Historia Cœlestis Britannica of John Flamsteed and Edmund Halley. It is called NS 1636-0219 in the NStars database.

It has visual magnitude 5.76 meaning that you could just see this star with the naked eye under the best viewing conditions. It is marked in the center of this star chart, at celestial coordinates (J2000 equinox):

Right ascension 16:36:21.5
Declination -2:19:28.5
This star is 32.0 light years away, which means that the light we see from it today set off on its journey at about the same time that I was born.

Find your birthday star here:

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